If Black Sails season 2 were to have a subtitle, it would be; “Oh yes, there will be blood”. The red is flowing freely so far and if last night’s any indication, death has come to Nassau. After last week’s episode we find that Flint has not only lost his Captaincy, but will be expelled from the crew once they reach port. The thing is, Flint is a man who doesn’t accept defeat.
Episode X takes the promise from the premiere and kicks it up a notch or three. There is not only a lot of cause in the episode, but effect to go with it. This theme exists over two time periods and through the lives of several characters. Every action bears an opposite reaction, lessons learned here at the price of blood.
X delves into who Flint is at his core. We see who he was and who he is now in a way that we haven’t before. Not just the Captain who enforces his will, but the man who got into that position in the first place. We meet Flint the thinker, manipulator, and when taunted, the unstoppable force. He may very well be the most dangerous man in the Caribbean, not because he has ships or guns, but because he is smart enough to play the truth against his fellow-man rather than a lie. Make no mistake, Flint’s truths will always set him free.
Flint is not the only man seeking favor in one form or another, Silver too, must warm his way into the hearts of the heartless. The schedule page he memorized is now irrelevant, the crew is well aware that he can’t cook, and he has no useful skills nor an inclination to learn any. Silver must find a way to create a need (or perceived need) for his presence and to do that, he must be honest with himself. We learn more about John Silver this episode as well. Just bits and pieces but they create a complete picture of why he is who he is. That is important. We don’t have to like Silver, but we need to understand him. If we understand him, we can grow to like him. Every character in this show is evil and/or selfish. This is a good thing because that is the nature of who these people were. There are no Jack Sparrows sashaying around to sack Nassau without firing a shot. Understanding them helps us root for them. And then, of course…there’s Ned Low.
Low is exactly what was missing from season 1, a nightmare for those who trade in nightmares. When he is on-screen, you can’t help but feel the chill of death standing beside him. He doesn’t have to do much (though he does), it is in the look in his eyes, his smile that screams that he wants to see what your insides look like. I don’t want to give too much away for those that have yet to see it, but the phrase “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” was probably thought up for men like him.
Eleanor and Vane come to an understanding finally. Vane confesses that his concern is not for her business, but solely for her. Vane represents the type of man who wants to live and die making his own way and resisting civilization. Not that he is uncivilized, but he is an Alpha male and believes in strength and if you are strong, you enforce your own will, without the help of a consortium. What I think Vane wants is for Eleanor to step up and be the woman who rules with an iron fist rather than by committee. In any case, they seem to arrive at an understanding, however, I wont say how or what is at stake.
Finally, we deal with the newly formed trio of Rackham, Bonny, and Max. The payoff from the first season long buildup between the three yielded swift fallout and swifter resolution. It was exciting to see Jack Rackham take his first step to becoming that Calico Jack. Though he has been at a disadvantage after the deposition of Captain Vane, he returned to form with ease and more importantly, with new-found purpose. With Bonny’s head now clear and Max feeling a sense of control, the stage is set for an interesting new force in Nassau.
Black Sails delivered on every level this episode. For those who have been waiting to see some true acts of piracy, this episode gives you that in its truest form. There are a couple of collision courses set to collide next week. You are going to want to be there. Oh yes, there will be blood.